Recruiting Update: January 6, 2013

Tag: Erick Smith

6Jan 2014
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Recruiting Update: January 6, 2013

Minneapolis (MN) Washburn running back Jeff Jones

Minneapolis (MN) Washburn running back Jeff Jones was offered by Michigan. Jones is a 6’0″, 196 lb. prospect who “committed” to Minnesota in March 2013, but he has been looking around almost the entire time and took an official visit to Iowa State a few weeks ago. He also holds offers from Florida, Michigan State, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Jones has set an official visit to Florida, and he’s also tentatively planning to visit Ann Arbor and East Lansing. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #9 running back, and the #111 player overall. In the Under Armour All-American Game on Friday, he led Team Nitro with 43 yards rushing, adding 4 catches for 35 yards and 1 touchdown. Against admittedly weak competition in Minneapolis as a senior, he had 167 carries for 1,525 yards and 34 touchdowns, plus 17 catches for 493 yards and 8 touchdowns. He isn’t the biggest or the fastest back around, but he has a good combination of quick feet, surprising power, and good vision. I’ve been thinking Michigan should offer Jones for a while, and although it’s late in the process, the Wolverines have a chance. I don’t think Jones will end up signing with Minnesota, but I don’t have a solid guess on what his final choice will be, either.

Scottsdale (AZ) Saguaro wide receiver Christian Kirk was offered by Michigan. He also has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC, and numerous others. Kirk is a 5’10”, 180 lb. prospect who is a pretty polished player, along with being very fast and athletic. I have yet to see a better wide receiver in the 2015 class, and that includes former Michigan commit George Campbell. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 43 receptions for 1,003 yards and 12 touchdowns. According to 247’s Composite ranking, he’s a 5-star, the #1 wide receiver, and the #32 player overall.

Lewisville (TX) Hebron safety Jamal Adams committed to LSU at the Under Armour All-America Game. Actually, he committed to “the University of LSU,” which caused a big uproar on Twitter and message boards. Personally, I think it’s silly when people flip out about the language high school football players use when announcing where they’re going to play football.

New Orleans (LA) St. Augustine running back Leonard Fournette committed to LSU during the Under Armour All-America Game. Fournette is generally considered to be the top running back in the 2014 class, if not the best overall player. He flirted with Michigan a little bit and even scheduled a visit at one time, but he and his family famously never got on the plane, which caused Michigan’s portion of the internet to break.

Cleveland (OH) Glenville defensive backs Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith committed to Ohio State during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Some smoke came out on Friday that they might be committing to Michigan, far-fetched as that was. Both have long been considered to be OSU locks, but it was thought that the Buckeyes might not have room for both of them. Smith in particular looked good in the all-star game when he led the East team with 6 tackles. However, he announced first and let the cat out of the bag that Lattimore would be joining him in Columbus, which took some of the wind out Lattimore’s commitment sails.

Oakley (CA) Freedom running back Joe Mixon committed to Oklahoma as the climactic announcement of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Mixon was also considering Wisconsin, which could have been bad news for the rest of the Big Ten.

Crete (IL) Crete-Monee linebacker Nyles Morgan committed to Notre Dame. After Crete-Monee products Anthony Standifer and Laquon Treadwell stiffed Michigan in the past couple classes, I barely paid attention to Morgan throughout the process. I do think it would have been oddly interesting to have Michigan’s current middle linebacker take a breather only to be replaced by this guy.

Olathe (KS) North outside linebacker Jimmie Swain IV committed to Oregon. Swain had been committed to TCU at one point, but he opened up his recruitment only to become a silent commit to the Ducks several weeks ago.

Washington (DC) Friendship cornerback Jalen Tabor committed to Arizona during the Under Armour All-America Game. In a surprise move, Tabor picked the Wildcats over Alabama and Maryland. He’s a 247 Composite 5-star, the #4 cornerback, and the #24 player overall. Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez has had problems with 5-star defensive backs in the past (Demar Dorsey, Justin Turner), so for his sake, hopefully Tabor at least plays a down or two of football.

Gardena (CA) Junipero Serra linebacker Dwight Williams committed to UCLA during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Serra is a powerhouse school, and Williams was considering a visit to Michigan at one point, but it never came through. He was #1 on my wish list for a weakside linebacker in the 2014 class, and I think he’ll have a good career for the Bruins. His teammate, highly touted cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, tweeted out a top six the other day that did not include Michigan, just in case you were still holding out hope that the Wolverines could pull off a miracle.

Here are my thoughts on the play of Michigan’s commits in the Under Armour game.

With only Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake’s Mason Cole playing in the Army game, I didn’t write up a separate post. Cole started at left guard and played some right tackle in the game, although I read in several places that he looks like a guard through and through for the next level. Cole looked somewhat undersized out there, and I imagine he’s somewhere around 275-280 lbs. right now. I did see him have trouble with the huge defensive tackles on the West roster, such as Bijhon Jackson, who’s listed at 6’2″, 327. But overall, he showed nice footwork, good knee bend, and decent strength, and Rivals named him the #6 overall performer on the East team.

In case you’re wondering, here’s a link to the relevant roster players for each of the weekend’s notable All-America games:

Under Armour
U.S. Army
Semper Fidelis

27Mar 2013
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Scouting Report: Erick Smith

Cleveland (OH) Glenville safety Erick Smith

Name: Erick Smith
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 195 lbs.
Position: Safety
High school: Cleveland (OH) Glenville
Class: 2014

Notes: Holds offers from Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and West Virginia . . . Rivals 4-star safety, #228 overall . . . 247 Sports 4-star, 90 grade, #26 safety . . . Attends alma mater of Michigan defensive end Frank Clark and defensive tackle Willie Henry

Strengths: Good straight line speed . . . Good leaping ability . . . Solid inside-out pursuit player . . . Not afraid to hit . . . Runs feet after contact . . . Does a good job of wading through traffic . . . Sheds blocks aggressively . . . Very aggressive blitzer . . . Seems to be excited about getting into backfield

Weaknesses: Somewhat limited as an athlete . . . A good athlete, but doesn’t really leap off the screen . . . Needs to use hands better to shed blocks . . . Could improve backpedal . . . Hips lack fluidity transitioning out of backpedal

Projection: Strong safety.  I don’t think Smith is at his best backing up in coverage, although he does have decent range and athleticism.  He’s a good tackler who deals well with traffic, so I think he would fit best playing in the box, helping with the run, and then occasionally giving the offense a different look by playing deep coverage occasionally.

Reminds me of: Thomas Gordon.  While Smith appears to be a little taller, his playing style reminds me of current Michigan safety Thomas Gordon.  Gordon, of course, has been playing free safety for the past couple seasons, but he has been playing strong safety this spring and may fit best at SS in the long term.

Likelihood of coming to Michigan: Ohio State appears to be the leader, but if the Buckeyes falter in his recruitment, the Wolverines appear to be lurking in that next group of schools.

28Jan 2013
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Recruiting Update: January 28, 2013

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech running back Mikey Weber (image via Michigan Citizen)

Richmond (VA) Hermitage running back Derrick Green committed to Michigan.

Louisville (KY) Trinity defensive end Jason Hatcher decommitted from USC.  Hatcher is not considering Michigan, but he is now open to Louisville (where his teammate James Quick is committed) or Kentucky, the new head coaching home of former Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops.

Cleveland (OH) Glenville safety Erick Smith was offered by Michigan.  Smith is a 6’1″, 185 lb. prospect with offers from Georgia Tech, Louisville, Ohio State, and West Virginia, among others.  Michigan has also offered his teammate, wide receiver Marshon Lattimore.  Like a lot of Glenville products, Ohio State seems to be the leader.

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech defensive tackle Joshua Alabi was offered by Michigan.  The 6’5″, 245-pounder doesn’t hold any other offers.  He doesn’t get off the ball very well defensively, but the athleticism is apparent.  He moves like a future left tackle, but I’m not sure he’ll have the height and length to play that position; if he can get more aggressive, he’s the type of athlete you would want at strongside end or 3-tech defensive tackle.  Alabi has visited Michigan a couple times, including for last season’s Michigan State game.  He played defensive end, defensive tackle, and offensive tackle for Cass Tech, and is the teammate of 2013 commits David Dawson, Delano Hill, and Jourdan Lewis.

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech running back Mikey Weber was offered by Michigan.  The 5’10”, 195 lb. running back also has offers from Illinois and Syracuse.  As a sophomore in 2012, he had 1,700 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns.  Weber’s body type looks a lot like Fitzgerald Toussaint’s, but Weber’s more of a slasher and doesn’t show the same kind of lateral movement.


Phoenix (AZ) Brophy Prep wide receiver Devon Allen committed to Oregon.  Allen flirted with lots of teams out west, and even seriously considered Michigan and Notre Dame for a while.  But he always coveted an Oregon offer, which came recently, and the choice seemed to be pretty easy at that point.

Avon (IN) Avon defensive end Elijah Daniel committed to Ole Miss.  Daniel had previously been committed to Clemson along with the consensus #1 defensive end nationally, Robert Nkemdiche.  Now that Nkemdiche appears to be headed for Oxford sooner or later, Daniel seems destined to be a Rebel, too.

Hamilton (GA) Harris County defensive tackle Jay Ellison committed to Georgia Southern.  That’s an odd development for a player who listed offers from Auburn, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Santa Monica (CA) Santa Monica wide receiver Sebastian Larue committed to Texas A&M.  After decommitting from USC in recent weeks, Larue flirted with the idea of visiting Michigan.  He is now one of about eight wide receivers committed to the Aggies.

Belton (TX) Belton tight end Durham Smythe committed to Notre Dame.  Smythe had previously been committed to Texas, but since he decommitted, it has mostly been a race between the Fighting Irish and Stanford.  He was originally scheduled to take a visit to Michigan this past weekend, but he rescheduled in order to visit South Bend with a bunch of other visitors.  Now it looks like next weekend’s visit to Ann Arbor won’t happen after all.

Euless (TX) Trinity defensive end Gaius Vaenuku committed to Utah.  The 6’6″, 260-pounder pickes the Utes over offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, and UCLA.

Tempe (AZ) Marcos De Niza cornerback Priest Willis committed to UCLA.  Michigan was never strongly in the running.  The Wolverines were recruiting him as a cornerback, but most teams project him to safety.

There were some rumors that Saginaw (MI) Heritage wide receiver Brian Cole, a 2015 prospect, was offered by Michigan.  However, that is not a solid offer, and he was apparently told he’ll have to wait until his junior year for an offer.